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310                             LETTERS   FROM   THE

possible,  sent off  boats and sloops to the   man-

We, luckily, had brought some biscuits and
rum, or else we should have starved, for the poor
fishermen had nothing to offer us. We slept on
the floor as well as we could, and our clothes
dried in the sun on our backs, but not one of us
has suffered, though it is reckoned dangerous in
this climate.

About midnight a boat came from the ship,
with baggage and some of the crew. Early next
morning we saw from the hill that the ship was
dismasted and unmoored; but she seemed to be
turned round, which was indeed the case.

The inhabitants of Spanish Town are a fine,
tall, hardy race of men. They are supposed to be
the descendants of the buccaneers, and have the
reputation of being savage and lawless, and accus-
tomed to subsist on the spoils of wrecks. They
were very good-natured to us, but their planters
gave us neither assistance nor food. The blacks
were eager to supply us.

The number of inhabitants of this large island
does not exceed a hundred, mostly collected at the
west end, in a kind of town, with a church.

We came to Tortola the day before yesterday,
and in the evening a boat brought us word that